This course takes its title from Dipesh Chakrabarty’s book Provincializing Europe which raises some key questions about Eurocentrism and the discipline of history. In this class, we will explore issues of ‘provincializing Europe’ in relation to literary and social critique. We will discuss the key ways in which comparative literature, postcolonial studies, critical race studies and feminism offer ways of reimagining the world. How do these perspectives allow us to move beyond the nation, while not roaming the world with imperial eyes? In what way can postcolonial critique engage with minority studies and critical race studies, and in what ways can the latter deal with empire and neo-imperialism? What are the limits of cosmopolitanism, and of categories such as “world Literature”? Why is the trans-national always routed through the West? Is feminism bad for multiculturalism? And, above all, what’s literature got to do with it?
Readings will include key works on these issues, both literary and otherwise.
A fuller syllabus will be available by August 2007.